Monday, 17 December 2018

Traveling the World, Solo and Without Sight

Traveling the World, Solo and Without Sight
10 Aug
12:51

– I've visited over 125 countries, and I've been to all seven continents of the world Old Town, Jerusalem

Yet I've seen nothing My name's Tony Giles I'm totally blind, severely deaf, yet, I travel the world alone I come from Southwest England I was born with a rare eye condition

I could see shapes and shadows I was very light-sensitive as a child, but by the time I was eight, nine, my light sensitivity would go When I was 16, I got the opportunity to go to the States, and I was all excited, and that's what I really loved: I loved the adventure and the unknown I thought, "Wow, I'm gonna travel for the rest of my life "and see if I can visit every country in the world" So I thought I needed to take photos, so I’ve got actual evidence that I've been there

And I also think it's quite fun, you know, the general public to see a blind person taking photos, that must look like a mess with their heads I find that quite interesting People think, "How can you travel when you're blind "and how can you visit all these countries?" I got a series of different maps on my walls, so I've got an idea of what each country I'm visiting looks like I research the country I visit, so I get on the Internet – [Computerized Voice] L-E-B-A-N-O-N

– [Tony] One British pound equals? – [Computerized Voice] Lebanese 2001 (mumbles) – And then I look up each city and what I want to visit Is it museums or churches or mosques? I try and find places with audio guides And in terms of visits, obviously, as a blind person, I'm not going to go and see a country I'm not interested in looking at the beautiful vistas So I need to walk places, I need to feel the atmosphere, touch things

I rely on people everywhere I go to help me A lot of countries I visit, obviously, English isn't their first language So, for instance, I'll ask the, the staff to write down in Arabic the places I want to go I meet people on the street, and they give me directions or they help me to go to places People ask me, "Are all the places you've been "in the same because you can't see them?" And every city, every town, every country is different

The thing I love about it most is moving and actually getting from one place to another, that challenge So once you actually sort of reach, reach the destination or the place you're looking for, that's a huge achievement Yeah, that's why I do it That's– That's the ultimate reason for my travels, really

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